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How Can Forensic Accounting Help in My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Distribution of Assets

Wheaton property division attorney

During the divorce process, couples must go through financial documents when determining how to divide assets and property and addressing issues such as spousal maintenance (alimony) and child support. In many marriages, a couple’s finances are straightforward, but that is not always the case. In some situations, forensic accounting may be necessary to analyze financial data more closely. If you are considering a divorce and are not sure how forensic accounting may benefit you, it is essential to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help you explore your options. 

What Is Forensic Accounting? 

Forensic accountants utilize accounting and auditing skills as well as investigative skills to perform a thorough examination of individuals’ financial records. Forensic accountants can be useful during a divorce because they are adept at uncovering financial information that a divorcing spouse may have attempted to hide from his or her spouse and the courts. Forensic accountants may review several types of documents, including:

  • Bank statements

  • Tax returns

  • Credit card statements

  • Invoices

  • Business contracts 

  • Canceled checks

  • Mortgage applications 

What Does a Forensic Accountant Do During a Divorce?

Forensic accountants can help uncover data that affects the outcome of a divorce. A forensic accountant may:

  • Discover a hidden source of income, such as a hidden bank account or a concealed piece of property  

  • Look for inconsistencies in record-keeping

  • Conduct a business valuation

  • Find and quantify personal expenses that are listed as business expenses (which could impact the valuation of a business)

  • Take note of high-value assets such as art collections 

  • Appraise assets (including real estate property)

  • Assist a family law attorney in gathering the necessary financial information 

  • Aid in preparing document requests as well as deposition and trial questions

  • Review forensic accounting from the other party in a divorce

  • Testify at depositions or in court

The information a forensic accountant finds can have a major impact on the outcome of the divorce. For instance, if a divorcing spouse hid income, he or she may be ordered to pay more in spousal maintenance. 

Working with a Team of Professionals

In addition to providing the requested paperwork, a divorcing spouse may further assist the forensic accountant by producing as much documentation as possible. This includes:

  • Information about a spouse’s sources of income

  • Information about a spouse’s travel habits (which may hint at owned property elsewhere)

  • Information about businesses owned or co-owned by a spouse

Remember, forensic accounting may make the difference between a fair divorce and an unjust distribution of assets.

Contact a Lombard, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering filing for divorce or are currently going through a high-asset divorce, forensic accounting may be invaluable to your case. A team of professionals, including a knowledgeable DuPage County family law attorney and a forensic accountant, can assist you throughout the court proceedings. At the accomplished law firm of A. Traub & Associates, we will fight for your rights to help you obtain an equitable divorce. To request a confidential consultation, call our office today at 630-426-0196.

 

Sources: 

https://www.fcpas.org/about-us/what-is-a-forensic-accountant/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000

 

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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